With the legalization and popularity of CBD oil over the last year U.S. hemp sales have been record breaking with sales of hemp products hitting $820 million. Even with legal and regulatory complications the industry continues to grow and grew 16 percent just last year.
According to Hemp Business Journal CBD and personal care products dominated the hemp industry in 2017 with CBD products accounting for 23 percent of hemp sales at $190 million. Personal care items came in at 22 percent bringing in around $181 million.
Other uses for hemp are industrial applications generating in $144 million, food generating $137 million, consumer textiles generating $105 million, supplements generating $45 million and other consumer products generating $16 million.
These numbers are expected to nearly triple in the next 5 years with congress increasingly supportive of total federal legalization of the hemp industry meaning hemp sales could approach $2 billion by 2022.
Important factors leading to this is the fact hemp is easier to grow than other resources such as cotton or corn and there are over 25,000 known uses giving the hemp business large potential.
The biggest barrier currently is not every state is on board with hemp legalization. For example in 2017 over half of the hemp industry was in Colorado alone. The industry is expected to grow in southern states and the midwest in the near future. However with the 2018 Farm Bill hemp has the potential to grow beyond estimates.
If the 2018 Farm Bill is passed as expected by Congress than the department of agriculture will regulate hemp on the federal level. This would result in more hemp available to farmers, consumers, and eventually the full legalization would increase sales.
A stipulation of the 2018 Farm Bill is banning anyone with a prior drug felony from growing hemp, which is not in any other crop regulations. This would put existing, successful farmers at risk of no longer being in the hemp industry. It is hopeful future reform would prevent this.
If hemp was as widely available as cotton the market we would see many hemp products on the market in the future.